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Confirmation of 3 cannabis commission nominees postponed

THE confirmation of three appointees to the cannabis commission was postponed due to their failure to submit their financial statements.

The Saipan and Northern Islands Legislative Delegation was supposed to act on the appointments of Matthew Deleon Guerrero, Nadine Deleon Guerrero and Valentino Taisacan Jr. on Saturday morning. But when the session started, Rep. Frank Dela Cruz noted that the three did not provide their financial statements.

The delegation chairman, Rep. John Paul Sablan, then asked the appointees to answer questions from lawmakers. The nominees, who were appointed on Oct. 19, apologized for not submitting their financial statements, saying they got too busy  with their duties in the CNMI government’s ongoing recovery efforts.

Sablan said the delegation still had 15 days to act on the appointments as he gave the nominees five days to comply with the financial statement requirement. Once the financial statements are submitted, Sablan said he will again call a session to act on the appointments.

In an interview, Matthew Deleon Guerrero said he is thankful to Gov. Ralph Torres for trusting him to represent the community on the new commission. He said there’s a lot of potential in the cannabis industry.

The commission’s primary role is to ensure that the public is protected “This is something that we should take very seriously and the concerns of the community should be taken seriously,” he added.

Cannabis commission nominees Valentino Taisacan Jr., Matthew Deleon Guerrero and Nadine Deleon Guerrero with some members of the Saipan and Northern Islands Legislative Delegation. Photo by Cherrie Anne E. VillahermosaCannabis commission nominees Valentino Taisacan Jr., Matthew Deleon Guerrero and Nadine Deleon Guerrero with some members of the Saipan and Northern Islands Legislative Delegation. Photo by Cherrie Anne E. Villahermosa

Nadine Deleon Guerrero, for her part, said they will make sure that the community’s concerns are addressed and taken into consideration.

Matthew Deleon Guerrero and Nadine Leon Guerrero were personally picked by the governor while Valentino Taisacan Jr. was appointed by Northern Islands Mayor Vicente Santos.

Other nominees

Tinian Mayor Joey Patrick San Nicolas has  appointed Lawrence Duponcheel to represent the island to the commission. The mayor said Duponcheel is very knowledgeable about cannabis industry and  a strong advocate for the passage of the marijuana legalization law in the CNMI.

For Rota, Mayor Efraim Atalig appointed Thomas Songsong as island’s representative to the commission.

“That is why we are here to address those issues and concerns, whatever problematic area, we will refine that and make sure we have every angle covered as the community and the safeguard of the community is our number one priority,” she said.

Source: Marianas Variety : http://www.mvariety.com/cnmi/cnmi-news/local/108947-confirmation-of-3-cannabis-commission-nominees-postponed

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